Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park is located in northern Colombia along the Caribbean coastline. It is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and is also rich in culture, wildlife, and tropical rainforest. The park is close to 30,000 acres and full of flora and fauna. There are forty species of bats, and 59 additional species of mammals have been reported in the park, including the gray-bellied night monkey, white-fronted capuchin monkey, sloth, armadillo, red brocket deer, jaguar, ocelot, ant eater, and five species of marine mammals. There are 396 species of birds including the little tinamou, king vulture, roadside hawk, yellow-headed caracara and pale-vented pigeon. Among the reptiles, there are four species of marine turtles plus and even the notorious boa constrictor. An extension to Tayrona is the perfect addition to a Colombia itinerary for any nature-lover and active traveler.
Day 1 Tayrona National Park
After breakfast, drive 4-5 hours to Tayrona National Park. Tayrona lies on the Caribbean coast near Santa Marta and has some of the most beautiful coastline. The area was established as a protected area 1864 and turned into a National Park in 1969. It has immense natural importance, and also cultural significance for the hunters and gatherers who long ago inhabited the park. The name Tayrona comes from their tribe. The tribes who live in the area today maintain many elements of those traditional ways. The park boasts fantastic wildlife including howler and titi monkeys as well as a wide variety of birds, lizards, and iguanas. Located in the park is Ecohabs Tayrona, your accommodation for the next few nights. (National Park fee paid on arrival, $20)
Day 2 Hiking Options
Choose which hiking option will be best for today and we’ll plan accordingly:
The Nine Stones hike (Nueve Piedras): This hike takes you around the park, traveling among egg-like stones at waypoints along the route. It offers a good overview of the park and its ecosystem. (Easy, 1 hour)
El Puebilto: Follow a route named for the town you will walk to that hosts an archaeological site giving insight into how indigenous communities lived in previous times; this town is pre-hispanic and similar to the Lost City or Ciudad Perdida. (Moderate, 1-2 hours)
Arrecifes: A picturesque jungle hike from the entrance of the park. You will arrive at a small village called Arrecifes where the beach is stunning but, alas, not swimmable due to strong currents and waves. (Moderate, 1-2 hours)
La Pacina: About a 20-minute walk from Arrecifes is another small village where swimming is allowed. It is also known for being one of Tayrona’s large coral reefs, which makes it for perfect snorkeling.
El Cabo: Another 20 minuntes from La Pacina is El Cabo. This is the most recogonizable beach in the park and has great swimming and snorkeling options as well.
You can choose to depart today or contiue your stay by relaxing in your Ecohab or on the beaches.
What to Expect
Duration 3 days
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.